Pennsylvania sets carbon goals / Water quality systems need upgrade

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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, February 1, 2019:

Last year, Governor Wolf signed an executive order to reduce carbon pollution in Pennsylvania. Carbon emissions are thought to be a major factor affecting global climate change, which Wolf calls “the most critical environmental threat facing the world.”

But the devil is in the details. Achieving a 26 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050 (from 2005 levels) is going to take the commitment of numerous state agencies and Pennsylvania taxpayers.

The executive order also establishes a “GreenGov Council” to coordinate the state agency response and monitor progress toward meeting the goals. The Secretaries of the Departments of General Services, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources will co-chair the Council.

Appearing on Smart Talk Friday to talk about reducing state carbon emissions are Patrick McDonnell, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Governor Wolf’s Deputy Chief of Staff Sam Robinson.

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Governor Wolf’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Sam Robinson, and Secretary Patrick McDonnell, PA Department of Environmental Protection.

Also, when the American Society of Civil Engineers released the 2018 Infrastructure Report Card in December, Pennsylvania earned an overall GPA of C minus. Seven of the state’s 18 critical infrastructure categories earned below average marks.

Drinking water is one of the categories with a D grade because of an estimated $14.2 billion in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. Aging wastewater and stormwater systems have equally alarming projected resource demands.

Joining Smart Talk, along with Secretary McDonnell, to talk about what Pennsylvania can do to raise the grade is Greg Scott, ASCE Pennsylvania representative.